Monday, June 8, 2020



This photo is taken from an advertising poster for the sad 1958 movie, "He Didn't Have a Clue: A Young Country Boy Commits Himself to an Institution." It tells the heart wrenching story of a young boy's struggle between the joyful anticipation of "getting out of dodge" and the awful dread of "jumping off a cliff!"  

This rare photo from the movie shows the central character minutes before leaving home at age 14 to go to the seminary in Louisville! Trying to smile into a blinding sun and being uncomfortable in his new bow tie and mandatory navy blue uniform, the star of the movie is pictured here looking clueless about what he was getting into! 

The plot of this third-rate tear-jerker movie struggles throughout to make sense, but ends on a positive note. 

After quoting Mother Teresa one too many times at priest convocations, I found myself elected as the fourth Superior of the Sisters of Charity, replacing Mother Teresa. I did talk them into changing the name of the headquarters in India from "Mother House" into "Father House." Accepting this job may have been the biggest mistake of my life! I grew up in poverty! I didn't like it then and I don't like it now! 

Following the crowd and not asking appropriate questions can get one into trouble! Since retirement, I often look back and ask myself, "How did I get myself into that situation?" 

This is exactly the question I was asking myself a couple of years ago when I ended up on a bus full of Caribbean bishops headed to the Apostolic Delegate's Office in Trinidad! 

I was afraid of being thrown off the bus so I told them that I was the Bishop of Rhodelia, on a Caribbean vacation, and that I had gotten on the wrong bus by accident! 

Curiously, the Caribbean bishops looked confused, but tended not to ask too questions! I pulled it off! 

During the pandemic, I was doing OK (at least I thought I was) until one day I kept catching myself waving at phantom people that I thought I saw on the other side of the room! 

I was OK with having a few "uninvited guests" for a few days, but trying to keep enough groceries in the house got to be a pain, without mentioning the fact they did not clean up after themselves! 

When they refused to walk to the Kroger Liquor Store to get me some more gin and tonic, I threw them all out and waved goodbye for the last time!  

Here is a shot of the day I spotted the first gray hair in my beard in a wall mirror at the DeNiel Home for Old Priests!  

Someone entered my name into the "Cooking Channel" TV show, "The Worst Cooks in America." Last year, I came in as first runner-up to Father Bill Hammer (on my left).  Part of the contest is you have to eat what you cooked. Several of the other priests had to be treated for food poison. No wonder we have a priest shortage! 

Liturgical dancing has all but died-out in the United States, but I have been pretty successful  in reviving it down in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Pam, the bishop's Pastoral Centre housekeeper, and I practice for the Offertory Procession outside the about-to-be dedicated Saint James Chapel.  

This was the last photo taken of me and my Parish Mission music group, "The Addams Family Values Gospel Choir." We had a "good run" until our head vocalist retired to Florida. Who knows? Maybe she will move back and we can "get the band back together" someday! 

This conversation took place during my recent appearance on the TV show, "Be Careful What You Ask For." "Listen, I appreciate your help with finding surplus medical supplies for the islands, but what am I to do with 10 million tongue depressors? There are less than 110,000 tongues in the whole country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines!"

My college seminary years were very demanding. We had to learn all kinds of new skills. One of the things that took a lot of practice was "looking religious" at all times. 

Those were the days before "evening Masses." Back then, like all college students, college seminarians liked to "sleep in." However, it was not allowed so I got very good at "day-sleeping." I learned to sleep with my eyes closed, while kneeling and holding a book, without snoring!  

To this day, I can't go to sleep without holding a book and wearing black pajamas!  

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